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What Had Happened Was: 9/8/16

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It was just this past Sunday when soccer player Megan Rapinoe of the Seattle Reign decided to kneel during the national anthem and join the growing list of folks supporting and following San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead. After the game, Rapinoe was brave and unflinching.

“I am disgusted with the way he has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this,” Rapinoe told espnW’s Julie Foudy after her initial protest. “It is overtly racist: ‘Stay in your place, black man.’ Just didn’t feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated … And quite honestly, being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven’t had my liberties protected, so I can absolutely sympathize with that feeling. The very least that I can do is continue the conversation with him by kneeling for the anthem.”

Wednesday night marked the first game since Sunday for Rapinoe to continue the conversation and kneel during the anthem once again. Except … the team she was playing Wednesday night, the Washington Spirit, actually decided to play the anthem ahead of schedule, moments after all the players had exited the field before the game, just so that Rapinoe couldn’t kneel down. Seriously.

What was ostensibly meant to be an act that would silence Rapinoe and her cause has now only amplified said message. It’s not going anywhere, and the Spirit can expect to hear many words from many people on Thursday that sound like what Rapinoe said when asked about the Spirit’s decision:

“To be honest, I didn’t hear [the anthem] and I wasn’t exactly sure why it wasn’t played but [expletive] unbelievable,” Rapinoe said. “Saddened by it. I think that it’s pretty clear what the message is that I’m trying to bring to light when I knelt in Chicago and what I’ve continued trying to talk about the last few days and what I intend to talk about and clearly with [Spirit owner Bill Lynch’s] actions, I think that that’s a necessary conversation.”

“I think it was incredibly distasteful to say that I — four days before one of the worst tragedies we’ve had in our country — to say that I hijacked this event … it’s just really disappointing and disrespectful in my opinion,” Rapinoe went on.“You talk about me disrespecting the flag, he didn’t even give people a chance, give both teams a chance to even stand in front of it and show their respect. It’s unbelievable.”


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Our brother Jesse Washington wrote about the life and times of old-school baller Cumberland Posey — the only man in both the basketball and baseball halls of fame:

“(Claude Johnson, the founder of the Black Fives Foundation) urged the basketball Hall of Fame for years to induct Posey. He said that besides being the best player of his time and the game’s first long-distance ace – “easily the grandfather of Stephen Curry” – Posey was remarkably tough and shrewd. His personality developed in the hardscrabble sporting life on the city’s streets, alleys, and vacant lots. Pittsburgh did not have a public playground until 1908, and its few gymnasiums were whites-only, so an elaborate, integrated sandlot culture evolved, where only the scrappiest athletes rose to the top, Johnson said. “He was extremely rugged. He would literally just charge anybody and punch them in the face,” Johnson said. He recalled one of Posey’s descendants saying that as Posey once visited the county jail, one of the inmates suddenly reached through the bars – and Posey broke the inmate’s arm. The unregulated business of sports, where large amounts of cash changed hands at games, also was full of street characters and often financed by numbers runners. One needed a strong arm to prosper. Poseywould walk around with a blackjack in the outer lapel pocket of his suit jacket. Partly for show, and partly for actual usage,” Johnson said. “He carried it with the handle ominously hanging out.”


Ryan Cortes is a staff writer for The Undefeated. Lemon pepper his wings.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.